Happy Holidays from Matt's Mumblings!!

Posted on December 19, 2014

What a year! As the holidays are always a time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future, we’d like to share our reflections with you, and thank you for your contribution to our great year.
As most of you know, this has been a huge year for the Coldspring Center Team. This time last year, Diverse Management Solutions (DMS), a company that Matt started back in 2001, closed its doors. While ending this chapter of his career was one of the most difficult professional decisions he’s experienced, it was time for a transition, and as with any tough change it opened many new opportunities. The greatest of these was establishing a new nonprofit with Bettina Harmon, called Coldspring Center for Social & Health Innovation. The name Coldspring came from months of brainstorming, seeking a name that could capture Matt and Bettina’s passion and expertise. 
Bettina and Matt came to the name in different ways. For Bettina, it represented the awakening feeling one gets when jumping into cold water. Colorado has both hot and cold springs. Hot springs are great for relaxing after a long run or hike. Cold springs are often located next to the hot springs, and these springs are mostly melted snow. Moving from a hot to a cold spring, there is a moment where all your senses become alive and the world becomes clear in a way it was not before you hit the water. Bettina wants our clients to experience a similar sensation when the knowledge and expertise of Coldspring Center helps awaken them to a new realization of their own potential.
For Matt, Coldspring is a physical and spiritual place of renewal. A few years back, he moved from Denver to the Rocky Mountains and ended up in a valley 20 miles west of Boulder, Colorado, named Coldspring. Coldspring is a green and rolling valley that opens up to the ridged peaks of the Continental Divide, just west of the valley. To Matt, Coldspring is a coming together of the power and peace that is central to any transformation.
Once the name was in place, Matt and Bettina started creating the organization they always envisioned. The first step in this process was applying for our 501(c)(3) status, a process neither Matt nor Bettina ever wish to repeat. There were several additional steps to conquer in order to start a nonprofit organization, but after months of hard work, the process was finally completed and the paperwork was sent into the IRS!
Coldspring Center is very fortunate to have a great board of directors. Olga Vera, Jeff Somers, and Mae Desaire have provided us with priceless guidance and support. We are so lucky to have a founding board with a wide spectrum of expertise. Olga is a brilliant clinician, Jeff’s expertise in marketing has helped us strategically position our services, and Mae’s background in fundraising is guiding us into our nonprofit structure.
The important next step was figuring out how to manage the workload. In the first quarter of our existence, Matt conducted trainings in San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, Denver, Phoenix, and Boulder. Bettina started work on a contract with the Denver Office of HIV Resources, with their new Program Director Anthony Stamper. This contract included managing the centralized HIV software program used by HIV providers in Denver, and quality management coordination with HIV providers across the metro area. It is such a gift for Coldspring to work with such dedicated people working in the HIV field. Between travel, training, and the quality management work, it soon become clear that help was needed, and we knew right where to look!
Both Bettina and Matt have known Brooke Bender for several years from her work in the HIV field in Denver. Brooke has always been someone they wanted to hire, but the timing or money were never quite right. When things fell into place in January, she was invited to be part of the Coldspring Team. Since joining the team, Brooke has done an amazing job in managing and evaluating the rollout of the biggest project we’ve ever taken on, the Trauma Informed Excellence (TIE) Online Training Series.
After years of doing in-person training on trauma informed care, leadership, and self-care, Coldspring started the process of creating an intensive online curriculum that encompasses a comprehensive review of the research available on those subjects. The goal was to provide a complete trauma informed model at a price any agency could afford, specifically targeting the social sector.
TIE was launched in April with the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of HIV, STD & Hepatitis. Coldspring was looking for a great system to start with, and we knew that Holly Hanson, Biz McChesney, and their providers were the perfect fit. The launch was coordinated with a continuation of a partnership between HIV grantees in Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota that have been collaborating for the last four years to offer providers the HIV Medical Case Management Certificate. It has been rewarding to watch TIE roll out across Iowa, as well as at the Nebraska AIDS Project, and Centennial Peaks Hospital in Colorado. Centennial Peaks specifically has been an extremely rewarding agency to work with, as they are implementing TIE within their entire system of care and are dedicated to large scale system change.
Soon after the launch of TIE, it was obvious that Coldspring needed more capacity. We were once again able to bring on someone we respected greatly and knew would be the perfect fit to help organize our growing company. Kate Leos, who we also knew well from our work in Denver’s HIV services, joined us in the spring and has provided Coldspring Center with greatly needed organization, attention to detail, and humor.
Bettina has continued to collaborate with Cory Laidlaw, at Illumicode, to improve the software solutions used in nonprofits and the social service sector. They have continued their work with the Boulder County AIDS Project with the HIV software, HELIX, and have expanded to begin to design software to support their HIV Prevention services. Bettina, Brooke, and Cory have also been excited to start a new project with Windhorse Community Services to build a custom system to assist in delivering high quality, coordinated mental health services. Cory has also assisted Coldspring to develop tailored web-based infrastructure to support our exponentially growing online training services.
Matt has continued presenting at some of his favorite conferences this year. In the spring, he presented at the HIV and Social Work Conference and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) Conference. NHCHC has been an incredible supporter of Coldspring Center’s trainings, made accessible to their members through NHCHC’s technical assistance efforts. Matt’s met so many great people through providing training and working with providers at NHCHC’s regional and national conferences.
At this year’s conference, Matt was honored to present at a pre-conference that was a pilot project designed to support community health workers. Matt had enjoyed working with this group at a previous conference too, but their energy and passion made the NHCHC pre-conference one of the best trainings of the year! Matt also presented a Trauma Informed Care Workshop at this conference. The room was beyond packed, with people sitting in the aisle, and standing room extended well outside the actual room. To top it off, Matt go
t to present with one of his heroes, Barbara DiPietro, on how to use Motivational Interviewing with policymakers. Barbara is a brilliant advocate, and sharing the stage with her was a tremendous honor.
Having been accepted into the NHCHC family has been a true highlight for Coldspring Center. We have been able to partner with them to bring our Thrive: Self-Care online training to their members (online training is being offered for free at In addition to the National Conference we partnered with NHCHC in 2014 to provide trainings in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, Lexington Kentucky, Kansas City, Richmond California, New York City, Nashville, New Orleans, and Houston.
The summer allowed Matt to do more great conferences, including the Saffron Strand Developing the Homeless Workforce and National Association of Community Health Centers Conferences. Conference sessions extended into the fall, with great workshops at the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy Conference, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield Conference, Kentucky Primary Care Association Conference, and National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Conference. It is such an amazing thing to go to conferences where we can connect with so many great people.
Our HIV Medical Case Management Certificate has continued to be a popular series with in-person and online trainings. We were able to provide the program for HIV providers in Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, and North Carolina. We are currently overhauling our entire curriculum and are excited to launch the revised program in Minnesota in April 2015!
It has been great to watch this Matt’s Mumblings blog expand more and more. The blog now averages over 200 views a week and each week builds more momentum, including an international audience. The blog has allowed us to stay engaged with people that attend our trainings and is a great way to help build a community of providers doing amazing work all over the country.
As the Coldspring Team looks ahead to 2015, we do so with incredible excitement. We have been working hard to develop a comprehensive online Motivational Interviewing Training Series and so far it looks great! We are partnering again with the Family Health Centers of San Diego to provide both in-person and online Motivational Interviewing Training in the Spring of 2015. In addition, trips are getting on the books for a MCM Certificate Training in Minneapolis, and trauma trainings in Phoenix, New York City, and Oakland. It’s going to be a busy year!

The Coldspring Team would like to thank each of you for your hard work and dedication towards those in need. We are grateful to get to partner with such great agencies on a national and local level. We wish you a very happy holiday season and we look forward to working with you in the new year. 

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